Criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling.
Honestly, I always thought that things like INFIDELITY, ADDICTIONS, MONEY ISSUES or LYING were the big destroyers!
But as it turns out, it is our communication style; the way in which we relate to our partners that is a bigger determinant of relationship success or failure.
In a previous article I wrote “People don’t remember what we say, people remember how we make them feel.” Stay conscious of how your words are making your partner feel
This is so true in relationships!
If we approach our partners with openness, honesty, compassion and empathy, if we are ready to really listen understand, it seems that no matter how big the issue, the relationship can survive.
Let’s now look at the four areas of communication that have been identified as sure fire relationship destroyers:
And they are so dangerous!
Criticism: Let’s distinguish between a complaint and a criticism. There is a big difference when it comes to relationships.
A complaint addresses a specific problem or action. For example “you didn’t take the garbage out.”
A criticism is bigger, more encompassing and much more dangerous. A criticism is lodged against a person’s character. For example,” you are lazy, your are stupid, you are sloppy.”
What can you do? Address the action, not the character of the person.
Contempt: You could say that contempt and criticism are joined at the hip. Two sides of the same coin. When you roll your eyes, sneer, name call or act with belligerence, you are demonstrating contempt. Contempt is lethal to a healthy, happy and loving relationship.
What can you do? Respect your partner’s feeling. Imagine how you would feel if they were doing this to you.Would you feel loved and appreciated? Put yourself in…